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Brexit Planning


I have read the details, and there is no mention of import taxes, presumably because these haven’t been a problem within the memory of current WS employees.


It depends what you mean by import taxes. We’ve always had import duty on alcohol and cigarettes and, compared with them, any other import tax would be fairly negligible.

Currently the EU import tarrif on wines from outside the EU is 8.5p. As I understand it that is separate from the UK alcohol import duty of around 2.20 per bottle (depends on ABV) though it may be included in it. Either way it is unlikely that we will impose a higher tariff than the current EU tariff plus our current import duty on imported wine. So I honestly don’t see any increase in wine price through increased taxation.

That 8.5p should already be factored into all non-EU wines coming into the UK and at worst a similar tariff of around 8.5p might be added to wines imported from the EU which in all fairness is not going to have a very significant affect on the retail price.

Increase in cost due to the collapsing pound is another matter though.


That’s not an import duty. It’s an excise duty on the alcohol content. English wine pays it too, so not an import duty.


I suspect that wine costs will rise, as they will with all imported goods, unless the exporting country has a currency even weaker than the Great British Peso. Probably only South Africa and Argentina that fall into that category at present…

If excise duty remains constant, and retailer margins likewise (they might even fall in some cases if the retailer wants to maintain turnover) then the overall impact may be relatively modest.

One thing is for sure, prices won’t come down, and I suspect there will be a fair bit of disruption too. However perishable foods likely to be worse…you really couldn’t make it up…one thing is almost certain, the already select band of Tory MPs in Scotland would become a lot more select if there was an election tomorrow. Don’t get me started on the political dysfunctionality of the UK right now though.


Yes that was my point, though I didn’t have the right words! So, assuming excise duty remains the same (and there’s no reason for it to change), then there’s no reason for any increased import duty on imports from outside Europe and there should only be a 7-10p import duty added to wines from Europe which is hardly significant on, say, a £15 bottle of wine.

I really don’t think Brexit will have any significant direct impact on wine prices. However, indirectly, the fall in the pound will have a much bigger and less predictable impact on those prices.


It might if it leads to more insular thinking generally, and discriminatory duties on different types of alcoholic drinks. The fall in £ is pretty directly linked to Brexit or more accurately the complete and utter shambles (I would use much stronger words in private!) that is happening in its name. I see that the predictable tactic of ‘let’s blame the Europeans, they won’t negotiate, we are being reasonable’ is now being trotted out. Despicable.


I remember the day after the referendum I stated to my friend that there is no deal that will be acceptable to both sides and that we will be coming out of this with no arrangements in place (and at that point I hadn’t even considered the particular problems of Northern Ireland). Since then I have had brief moments when I though sanity might be about to prevail but, no, we’re back on the insanity setting again.


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Always worth remembering this quote when referenda are being mooted… :wink:


There will also be additional admin costs to importing which will presumably be passed on.


Yes it’s really a wonderful idea isn’t it?

I would have thought that for a volume importer they would be relatively low per unit.

A friend who is the FD of a fairly large privately owned food group who both export and import told me that the bureaucrats in the civil service haven’t got a clue what’s happening. Even less of a clue than usual…


Just reading yesterday’s paper and noticed a short item saying that South American wines will go up after Brexit as Mercosur (SA trading block) has an agreement with the EU from which Britain will not benefit.
Yet another unexpected Brexit dividend?

( Sorry, no idea of amounts involved).


The agreement is new, so it probably means prices won’t go down rather than that they will go up. But I don’t know if the Chile -EU agreement has been rolled over to the UK, so those prices may be at risk.


If you think it’s bad in the UK, the Europeans are finding it even harder to plan for Brexit. The UK is at least operating from the position of certainty that it is definitely leaving and is planning accordingly, while the rest of Europe is continually trying to second guess what the UK will do next and can’t plan effectively.

As an example, I’ve seen this first hand when it comes to freedom of movement of workers across the EU. The company I work for has clear plans and actions in place for European workers in the UK seeking to stay, but sites in European countries with UK workers are reacting to whatever twist and turn happens in parliament with very little ability to plan. As a UK national in Europe, the time running up to the 29th March was farcical, we effectively had no idea what was going to happen on any given day and still don’t! Once the UK defines it’s position/deal, only then can the rest of Europe start to plan - I see very little enthusiasm for renegotiation and amendments when seen from a European perspective.


My comment was obliquely (perhaps too obliquely!) related to wine. I was alluding to the situation where UK based wine organisations (like TWS) can do all the planning they like, but if their main European wine trading partners have no idea what’s coming next then it will do them little good in actually effecting some sort of wine trade with them post-31st Oct.

I think I mentioned wine often enough that time… :wink:


Current UK Government are a bunch of cynical, delusional (rhymes with bankers)…but are stirring up base instincts on this front…


That’s what they are hoping for. I make no apologies for more general comments, because they also relate to our future access to good, reasonably priced European wine.


Items subject to excise duty have always had quite rigorous import admin so I can’t see there being much additional - saving transferred ‘exciseable’ goods around Europe in the past I’m aware of the admin requirements and costs

It’s areas that haven’t really had to bother with importation administration before that are really likely to require additional administration


Mercosur/EU agreement (agreed in principle on 28 June 2019) opens a free trade deal where the EU doesn’t charge them the same high tariff rate on wines they send to EU as other non EU countries. So, in theory South American wines should be cheaper.

So if UK is outside EU then it won’t benefit from lower tariff prices, but why should the price of wine imported to the UK go up?


The obvious one - falling pound!


Just repeating the article. Maybe it means prices will go up relative to the prices in the EU. I don’t know any more about it.